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Phrag watering question

This is a discussion on Phrag watering question within the Paphiopedilum & Phragmipedium Info. forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; change your Sig. line . It looks great ... .... Gin...

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  1. #1
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    change your Sig. line . It looks great ... .... Gin

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    Default Phrag watering question

    Well, I bought a Phrag China Dragon 3N rumored to be in spike. I have a few questions about it. First, I have 2 new growths down on each side . They spike from down inside the V of leaves, right? I can't imagine what else these are, unless some new roots grow up?
    Then, I water it every morning. It's potted in my usual bark mix. I would say sticking my hand in the mix is dry every day. This is how it is with most of my plants really. I am SO scared of Spagh tho. Do you think my China Dragon would rather be in at least some spagh??
    Then I want to know where that spike is hiding. I can't have harmed the spike as it's not even showing it's head and I've only had it a week I think? 2 weeks? :c)

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    a long time ago I grew phrags in loosely-packed sphag in clay pots. water when the top is dry. they loved it but you had to repot at least twice a year.

    people who use bark mixes sometimes stick the pots in reservoirs of water so they don't have to water so often. often if one weren't watering enough, this would improve plant growth greatly.

    despite the affinity of most phrags to WATER, it still is possible to rot roots if the media gets stale or if it doesn't hold enough air.

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    Kirstie,

    Anything coming up from the inside leaves is either a new leaf, or a spike.

    New growths will come up beside the primary growth. This could be your spike...

    Julie

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    This was my most expensive orchid to date. Dare I try spagh very loosely packed?!?!

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jtlqh
    Annie,

    Are those aircone pot translucent? Could you PM me where you get them?

    Thanks
    Qing
    The aircone pots are indeed translucent. I credit clear pots with really helping me learn to grow my plants well. I cannot say enough good things about them. I find it so very valuable being able to see daily what is going on both in and out of the pots.

    They are from a place in Maine (I hope I can say that but if not, sorry!)
    I think my email is listed above if you wish to email me directly, Qing. I don't seem to be able to send private messages.

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    Kirstie,

    You've got a rot problem that has me concerned and confused. We have the same climate, but your mold and rot problems are beyond anything I've encountered.

    Your Phrag will want even moistness, but it has 25% caudatum in it, so it won't want to be soaking (other Phrags like soaking, and are set in trays of water.) It wants to be moist, but not really wet, and it never wants to fully dry out. But with sphag, the top will dry before the interior does. With sphag in plastic pots, this is particularly true.

    It's sounding like you're loving your guys to death and overwatering. But without seeing your conditions, it's hard to be sure. If they're potted too deeply in the media, you can also induce rot. Particularly with sphag. The constant moisture on the base of the leaves will start rot and move through them like Sherman through Georgia.

    I've recently been adding perlite to my sphag to help with air flow. I haven't had problems in the past, but with bigger pots, and wet media, the perlite offers more air should the sphag compress or break down.

    Hope this helps!

    Julie

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    you can have exceptions, but most china dragon will appreciate constant moisture. if you have to err, I would err towards more water. (it is of course not as water-loving as some of the species that grow on the streamside in nature). with sphag/clay pots, when the very top dries out (and turns "crispy") it is time to water. the interior still has some moisture but that is fine--it should be evenly moist.

    as julie said, if you repot, the base should be right at the surface. new roots should not be hanging in mid-air. new sphagnum has antiseptic properties that probably (don't quote me) last several months.

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    I know some of my mistakes came from potting too deeply. Some came from potting too tightly. I don't learn well from my mistakes so those reminders help me lots!
    I noticed when I repotted this plant, it seemed like he had bits of sponge in the mix.
    So... I'm having a problem with the watering thing, because I know not to overwater. But I have several plants with wrinkled bulbs. Several came to me like that. But I can't say things are getting better in that area. I stick my hand into the mix in holes in the pot and it's all dry. It happens in a day or 2. Lots of them dry in a day. I don't understand. So I think I underwater because watering every other day is too much and bad for the plants. I wait a about 5 days or so between waterings.
    I'm thinking to mix some amount of spagh with my regular potting mix - just to add moisture.

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    I recently started adding chopped sphag to my mix, along with small CHC, and some occasional primeagra for good measure. It is really helping to have the sphag in the mix; moistness is much more even, but not soggy. Of course I live where 20% humidity is common.

    I've just put my phrags (all TWO of them) into s/h to help them stay evenly moist, but I don't yet know how that's going to work out.

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